We arrived at the beautifully appointed Dunkeld House Hotel situated by the banks of the River Tay. The driveway was around a mile long and the grounds are magnificent. After our meet and greet our group had a nice dinner to set us up for our first visit to Blairgowrie.
The forecast had been none too promising, however the projected rain stayed away and we played the Blairgowrie Lansdowne course, designed by Peter Allis and it was tree lined with a fair smattering of heather, which we all had a go in! We opted for teams of four with two scores to count. There was some excellent golf all round with all the teams comfortably under par. On 84 points was Phil, Cyrille, Ivan and myself, however this was trumped by Lesley, Barbara, Bob and David who ran up 86 points. We enjoyed our day there and the warm welcome we received. Another top quality dinner filled us with vitamins and a few glasses of crushed grapes helped the refuelling immeasurably.
We went to Creiff with blue skies all around, which thankfully stayed all day. After a warm welcome we set about their beautiful golf course, which was in mint condition. We went for one out of three to count today. Scoring was very close and all of the trios scored in the 40s. Runners up were Tricia, Ali and Jennie on 43 points with the dynamic trio of Phil, Cyrille and David on 44 points with a blistering back nine of 23 points.
On our day off we had a really interesting visit to not one but two distilleries. The first one was the Blair Athol Distillery, where we had a comprehensive tour and learnt about the art of whisky making and it was certainly more art than science it seemed. A very generous tasting followed the tour and then a visit to the shop for some retail therapy. After lunch in the excellent Old Mill Inn in Pitlochry, we visited the smallest distillery in Scotland at Edradour. Production was on a completely different scale here, although judging by the activity going on with customers and whisky making it is busy! A grand day out and most of us enjoyed a snooze in the afternoon.
Our third game was at Pitlochry and certainly had a fairly steep opening series of holes. The good news was that once we got to the top, the views were amazing. A compact and intriguing course with quite a few elevation changes and small greens. We had another team competition with one from three to count. With a very sporty 42 points was Robert, Alan and Barbara. However after a grandstand final with 19 points in the final 6 holes Lesley Diana and yours truly amassed 45 points. The theme of this trip with the courses visited was a great welcome, lovely club houses and Pitlochry was no exception and probably had the best food so far.
We didn’t need to venture very far for our next game as the Dunkeld and Birnham GC was about 5 mins from the hotel. Another course blessed with fabulous views and a few undulations. Teams of three was the order of the day and our favourite Waltzing Mathilda format of 1,2 3 scores to count as we went through the round. On a very sporty 66 points was Steve, Barbara and David (who recorded his 3rd win of the week) and barring an unfortunate ball mix up the trio of Des, Robert and Bob would have pipped them. Good to know golfers are happy to play by the rules.
Our final game at beautiful Blairgowrie was on the Rosemount course. We went for a 4BBB competition today and again the weather was kind. Imagine a week in Scotland without waterproofs and sweaters! The scoring was keen and we had a tie for first with Ivan and Alan and Simon and Robert on 42 points. I then had to look at the back nine which was tied as was the final 6 holes, so we had to go to the last 3 holes and by dint of Roberts amazing birdie on the tough par 4 Black Lock 16th, he and Simon won the day. A great finish to a wonderful week and we had a fun farewell dinner to set us up for our travels home on Sunday.
See you on a fairway somewhere soon
All the best
The Lopesan Links Open Championships Mar 2020
With Coronavirus raging, golf tournaments around the world, including The Masters, cancelled, Tours suspended, hotels and countries in lock down,...